Fair Housing Act.
- Timothy J. O'Brien
The Fair Housing Act, also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, was crafted by legislators as a solution to housing discrimination. It prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, and sex, and was later amended to add handicap and family status. The act limited the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) ability to administratively enforce the law. Title VIII did order HUD to establish a process to investigate claims, seek reconciliation, and refer cases to the Department of Justice (DOJ). After a long and difficult journey it finally became law on 11 April 1968. Its passage came at the height of the civil rights movement and just one week after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.
There was a clear need for legislation to stop discrimination in housing in 1968. Since 1946 ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.